The Parish As the Light of Mercy In Our Community
The Lord Is My Chef Simbang Gabi Recipe-1, 16 December 2016
Isaiah 56:1-3, 6-8//John 5:33-36

SHARE THE TRUTH

 268 total views

It is this time of the year again when churches are overflowing with people for our nine-day novena to Christmas we interchangeably refer to as Simbang Gabi or Misa de Gallo. Strictly or properly speaking, the Mass at night is Simbang Gabi while this one we are having every December 16 is the Misa de Gallo, from the Spanish “Mass of the rooster” that crows at about this time. There is no big deal really with how call this, whether Simbang Gabi or Misa de Gallo but on this Year of the Parish as we prepare for the 500th year of Christianization of our nation in 2021, perhaps it is about time that we clarify and deepen the meaning of this Christmas novena we have exported back to Europe and to every country there are OFW’s.

Allow me to share with you a recent experience I have had in my parish where I have been a pastor since 2011.

Next to the Holy Eucharist, it is always with the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick that I truly and deeply experience God’s mercy and love. And with conviction, I tell you, God is so in love with us especially at the point of our death that He would do everything to save every single soul especially the most sinful ones. A few weeks ago during my day off with my sister and niece, I had left my cellphone at home, retrieving it only upon our return later that night. Checking for messages, I found a request for a sick call for a parishioner so notorious that in my five years in our parish, I have not heard any good things about him. Neighbors and even relatives complain about him. As I texted back to inform the family I was coming, deep inside me I felt he won’t die yet. Most likely he would suffer longer (mea culpa) for his many sins that I was not worried at all with the heavy traffic that night. Everything changed when I got into the room of the sick: gone was his towering and robust bearing as he laid in bed in coma with tubes in his mouth and arm while his six-foot body frame swelling all over in pale yellow. I performed all the rites for the dying but I must confess with you that while doing it, deep inside me I was begging God for mercy and forgiveness for me as I found it so difficult to say the prayers because… I knew how sinful he had been! Sorry po pero napakasama po niya talaga that before leaving at almost 11PM I had to counsel his adopted son who had so much pains from him since childhood.

Early the following morning on my way to my radio program, I was told the patient died at midnight after I had left. What did I feel? I felt God hugging me, telling me how much He really loves us all, even the most sinful ones. How I wanted to shout that “God is merciful indeed!” Napaka-buti po ng Diyos. He can forgive every sin, even the most serious ones that He would never allow us to go to hell, doing everything just to save us before dying like with that man I have anointed. How blessed are we all that when we die, our judge is Jesus Christ and not anyone on earth, neither our relatives nor friends, not even priests because nobody might make it to heaven with our strict standards unlike God.

This is one of the meanings of our Simbang Gabi: that in the darkness of the night of our sinfulness and miseries, God sent us His only Son Jesus Christ to save us, to forgive us from our sins (cf. Jn.3:16). He is the light who pierces the great darkness above us, even little by little as we find our way into the church early this morning. Yes, God never gives up on us, always believing in our goodness and value as persons that it must pain Him so much with what we are doing right now like the extra-judicial killings going on as well as the move to reinstate capital punishment in the country. There is always hope in everyone, even the most sinful sinners that we have to always give that chance for them to change. It is not for us to decide whether they should live or die but only God.

On this first day of our Christmas novena, the Lord is inviting us to be like St. John the Baptist, “a burning and shining lamp” who would point to Him as the true light of the world “accomplishing the works of the Father” (Jn.5:35,36) which is mercy for us sinners. No one is excluded in the love and mercy of God as He promised Isaiah in the first reading, “them I will bring to my holy mountain and make joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be acceptable on my altar, for my house shall called a house of prayer for all peoples.” (Is. 56:7) This wonderful work of God is continued daily and into the darkness of the night through the parishes scattered all over the world, big and small like ours. And yes, with you our flock, we your pastors despite our many sins and weaknesses are here to ensure always that light of Christ would always be burning no matter how long and dark is the night by always standing for what is good and just. We would always be misunderstood by many, even maligned and cursed by the more popular and powerful people but like St. John the Baptist, we have to keep that light of Christ burning even with our name and honor and very lives.

May those lights that decorate our church building outside that have guided you from the darkness earlier and brought you here, continue to burn most of all in our hearts and in our lives of love and mercy especially to the poor and the sinful, the lost and rejected. In a few minutes we shall be going home or going to our places of work as darkness starts to fade and the sun begins to spread its light all over. May we see the face of Jesus in everyone we meet, sharing His love and mercy with one another especially those in our parish and family. God bless!
Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Parokya ni San Juan Apostol at Ebanghelista
Gov. F. Halili Ave., Bagbaguin, Sta. Maria, Bulacan

Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

Sundan ang hakbang ng Negros Occidental

 30,841 total views

 30,841 total views Mga Kapanalig, pinuri ng tatlong obispo mula sa Negros Occidental na sina Bishop Patricio Buzon ng Bacolod, Bishop Louie Galbines ng Kabankalan, at Bishop Gerardo Alminaza ng San Carlos ang pamahalaang panlalawigan dahil sa inilunsad nitong programa na tinatawag na “SecuRE Negros: Ensuring Power Security with Renewable Energy.” Layunin ng programang magkaroon ang

Read More »

Pwedeng taumbayan naman?

 44,676 total views

 44,676 total views Mga Kapanalig, noong nakaraang buwan ay pinag-usapan natin sa isang editoryal ang isinasagawang people’s initiative para sa Charter change (o Cha-cha). Sinimulan ito dahil sa hindi pagsuporta ng Senado na amyendahan ang Konstitusyon.  Itinutulak ng people’s initiative ang pagsasama ng mga senador at kongresista sa pagboto sa mga panukalang pagbabago sa Konstitusyon, imbis

Read More »

Ilang buhay pa ang kailangang masawi?

 79,901 total views

 79,901 total views Mga Kapanalig, sa isang nakaraang editoryal tungkol sa landslide sa Davao de Oro na kumitil ng labing-isang buhay, tinanong natin: “Ilang insidente pa ng pagguho ng lupa at ilang buhay pa ang kailangang mawala bago natin tuluyang iwan ang pagmimina?”  Sa kasamaang-palad, agad itong nasundan ng isa na namang nakapanlulumong insidente ng landslide

Read More »

Proteksyon para sa mga gig workers

 125,776 total views

 125,776 total views Sa kasalukuyan, ang mga gig workers o manggagawa sa gig economy sa Pilipinas ay patuloy na dumarami. Ang mga gig workers ay mga irregular na empleyado at nagtatrabaho sa pamamagitan ng mga platforms tulad ng food delivery services, ride-hailing apps, online freelancing, at iba pa. Ang laki ng kanilang kontribusyon sa ekonomiya, pero

Read More »

Online work at kababaihan

 126,812 total views

 126,812 total views Ang laking bentahe ng online work dito sa ating bansa, lalo na para sa mga kababaihan. Nagbubukas ito ng oportunidad at mga bagong posibilidad. Sa pamamagitan ng online work, mas napapadali ang pag-access nila sa trabaho nang hindi na kailangang lumabas ng bahay. Ito ay isang magandang pagkakataon para sa mga kababaihan na

Read More »

Watch Live

catholink
Shadow
truthshop
Shadow

Related Story

Lord is my Chef
Veritas Team

Jesus the True Vine Giving Us Love As His Fruit

 3,206 total views

 3,206 total views The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe, Easter -5B, 29 April 2018 Acts 9:26-31//1John 3:18-24//John 15:1-8 My former student recently posted on her Facebook a billboard saying, “GIVE ME COFFEE FOR THE THINGS I CAN CHANGE & TEQUILA FOR THOSE I CAN’T”. It is a funny take from “Serenity Prayer” that says, “Lord,

Read More »
Lord is my Chef
Veritas Team

Jesus the Good Shepherd: Leadership Based on Belonging than Authority

 3,196 total views

 3,196 total views The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe, Easter -4B, 22 April 2018 Acts 4:8-12//1John 3:1-2//John 10:11-18 Something funny happened to me last week that almost spoiled my Good Shepherd Sunday today. I was at FullyBooked browsing on some new titles when something caught my attention that sent fears through my body. Did I

Read More »
Lord is my Chef
Veritas Team

Peace: the Gift of Easter

 3,177 total views

 3,177 total views The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe, Easter -2B, 08 April 2018 Acts 4:32-35//1John 5:1-6//John 20:19-31 On this Second Sunday of Easter we are also celebrating the Feast of the Divine Mercy instituted by the great St. John Paul II 18 years ago as “a perennial invitation to the Christian world to face

Read More »
Lord is my Chef
Veritas Team

Lent Is “Seeing” Jesus

 3,235 total views

 3,235 total views The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe, Lent V-B, 18 March 2018 Jeremiah 31:31-34//Hebrews 5:7-9//John 12:20-23             Sorry for failing to send you my weekly “recipes” these past two weeks.  Aside from problems with our internet connection and with my busy schedules, I have decided to be silent, and

Read More »
Lord is my Chef
Veritas Team

Life Is A Daily Lent of Ascent and Listening

 3,216 total views

 3,216 total views The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe-Lent II, 25 February 2018 Genesis 22:1-2, 9, 10-13, 15-18//Romans 8:31-34//Mark 9:2-10 Last week we claimed life is a daily Lent characterized by the desert or wilderness. On this second week of Lent, we hear the story of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ on Mt. Tabor. And

Read More »
Lord is my Chef
Veritas Team

Life Is A Daily Lent

 3,175 total views

 3,175 total views The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe-Lent I, 18 February 2018 Genesis 9:8-15//1Peter 3:18-22//Mark 1:12-15 Life is a daily Lent. Every day we have to make sacrifices as expression of our love for God and for others. Every day we have to open and turn our hearts to God because every day, we

Read More »
Lord is my Chef
Veritas Team

Getting Closer With Jesus Who Wishes to Be Closest with Us

 3,178 total views

 3,178 total views The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe, Week VI-B, 11 February 2018 Leviticus 13:1-2,44-46///1Corinthians 10:31-11:1///Mark 1:40-45 Perhaps due to the approaching Valentine’s day, I have been hearing “over and over” during prayers this week Roberta Flack’s 1978 hit with Donny Hathaway, “The closer I get to you/The more you make me see/ By

Read More »
Lord is my Chef
Veritas Team

The Sto. Nino, the Prince of Peace

 3,259 total views

 3,259 total views The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe Week 3-B, 21 January 2018 Isaiah 9:1-6///Ephesians 3:1-6,15-18///Mark 10:13-16 Our third Sunday celebration every January of the Sto. Nino is a special feast granted to us by Rome in recognition of our devotion to the Child Jesus. It is the second most popular Christ-devotion in the

Read More »
Lord is my Chef
Veritas Team

Beholding Jesus, Being Held by Jesus

 3,236 total views

 3,236 total views The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe Week 2-B, 14 January 2018 1Samuel 3:3-10,19///1Corinthians 6:13-15,17-20///John 1:35-42 The month of January is from the name of the Roman god Janus, their god of beginnings and transitions as well as of gates and doorways. Janus is depicted as having two faces, one looking to the

Read More »
Lord is my Chef
Veritas Team

Advent: A Time to Look Inside, Outside, and Beyond

 3,179 total views

 3,179 total views The Lord Is My Chef Advent Sunday-1B Recipe, 03 December 2017 Isaiah 63:16-17;64:2-7//1Corinthians 1:3-9//Mark 13:33-37 Liturgically speaking, Christmas happens late this year with December 25 exactly falling on the Monday right after the Fourth Sunday of Advent. In our country where Christmas is celebrated longest in the whole world, I have noticed yesterday

Read More »
Lord is my Chef
Veritas Team

Jesus Is King Of the Little Ones

 3,189 total views

 3,189 total views The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe, 26 November 2017 Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus, King of the Universe Ezekiel 34:11-12,15-17//1Corinthians 15:20-26,28//Matthew 25:31-46 About 25 years ago when I was still covering the police and military-defense beat as a reporter for GMA News, we used to refer to the first PNP Director General

Read More »
Lord is my Chef
Veritas Team

Everything Matters

 3,182 total views

 3,182 total views The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe, Week XXXIII-A, 19 November 2017 Proverbs 31:10-13,19-20,30-31//1Thessalonians 5:1-6//Matthew 25:14-30 “Walang kuwenta.” Literally speaking, it means “no summation” or simply nothing at all. It is one of the most common expressions of our elders before that is rarely heard these days. It is as old as “panahon

Read More »
Lord is my Chef
Veritas Team

Being Foolish and Being Wise

 3,208 total views

 3,208 total views The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe, Week XXXII-A, 12 November 2017 Wisdom 6:12-16//1Thessalonians 4:13-18//Matthew 25:1-13 We are now on the last three weeks of the liturgical year that ends on the 26th of the month, the Solemnity of Christ the King. For these last Sundays of the year, we shall hear the

Read More »
Lord is my Chef
Veritas Team

When Title Is Nothing But A Tittle

 3,175 total views

 3,175 total views The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe, Week XXXI-A, 05November2017 Malachi 1:14-2:2,8-10//1Thessalonians 2:7-9,13//Matthew 23:1-12 Two Sundays ago when Jesus began confronting the Pharisees and scribes in our gospel series, I used Pepsi Cola’s ad campaign “We are made by the choices we make,” linking it with the Lord’s teaching that we must always

Read More »
Lord is my Chef
Veritas Team

We Are Made By the Choices We Make

 2,642 total views

 2,642 total views The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe, Week XXIX-A, 22 October 2017 Isaiah 45:1,4-6//1Thessalonians 1:1-5//Matthew 22:15-21 Thirty years ago Pepsi Cola came out with an ad campaign claiming “We are made by the choices we make” endorsed by celebrity couple Martin Nievera and Pops Fernandez. It is still the most “philosophical” ad campaign

Read More »

Latest Blogs

Scroll to Top